Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#46: The Question of the Day

Notre Dame Students do not really seem to like The Observer all that much.  Sure, many students grab a copy at lunch and read a few articles in Sports or Viewpoint*, but overall the paper is not the most popular reading material for Notre Dame Students (although its far more popular than its ugly stepbrother The Irish Rover).  However, if there is one section that most students are sure to read every day, it is The Question of the Day.

The Question of the Day appears every day on the second page (behind the front page) of The Observer.  It consists of: a question (duh), and usually five pictures of students giving brief answers to the question that was asked.  The question that is asked can range from being completely serious and controversial to something that is completely ridiculous and barely comical.

Examples of potential questions include:
-What is your favorite dining hall food?
-How angry do the Vagina Monologues make you?
-Do you prefer sweatpants that are blue or grey?
-How do you feel about Bill Kirk?
-Are you going to The Show this weekend?

Regardless of what question is asked, the answers always come from very typical responses.  One student will answer with a phrase that has almost no relation to the question that was asked.  One student will answer the question completely seriously as if it is an important survey.  Two students will answer together, usually by mentioning the others name and pointing towards them in the pictures.  Finally, another student will answer with a question as if they are asking for elaboration of the original question. 

All of these students might make completely ridiculous statements, but they will all be incredibly happy when the paper is actually published because they finally made it into The Question of the Day.  Their picture will appear in the newspaper and people will comment about their statement, no matter how absurd, for the rest of the day.  This will probably be one of the best days of the student’s collegiate career.

Because the people who respond to the question are chosen by a top-secret process that The Observer folks will never reveal, it is impossible to seek out being featured in The Question of the Day.  Whether it happens to people who are in the right place at the right time, or to people who know the right people, The Question of the Day is one of the highest honors that a student can achieve, but one they can never possibly seek out. 

*Notre Dame Students might, from time to time, read the News section of the paper if something interesting is happening, but they will certainly never read any article pertaining to Saint Mary’s unless it is a part of some sort of Viewpoint War.


  1. You claim that students may read Viewpoint or Sports articles sometimes, but that they always read the Question of the Day. This may be true, but you're forgetting an even more important page of The Observer - the penultimate page, featuring the Jumble and crossword puzzle. How would students kill time during lectures without these diversions?

    I think we can all agree that if you were to remove all the inner pages and keep only the front/back cover, you'd have the only worthwhile pages.